It was as if all the air around her stood still. Jeanne spotted it from across the room. It was smaller than she expected, but bigger too. She glided closer; she was drawn to it. A warm halo illuminated it. Her feet seemed to lose their meaning. No breath. It was like all the organic parts of her body and flesh fell away, and all that was left was this painting.
It had such a gentle name. Lavender Mist. Like it drifted in with the morning fog. But Jeanne felt the violence of it. It crashed into this world like a hurricane onto the shore. Every birth is brutal. Screams. Pain. Blood. Lavender Mist could be just as innocent as a screaming child just thrust into existence.
Standing before it, Jeanne felt something change inside of her. The all-consuming sadness seemed less. If only she could touch it maybe she would be healed. The surface looked so tactile and intricate. There were bumps in the paint… like dirt was mixed in. It almost looked like Braille. A message was hidden here; written in a secret language that only the pure of spirit could read. That only she could read. She had to reach out. She had to be free. She had to be a part of Lavender Mist…
With that one touch a glowing burning heart flew out of her chest. She could almost see it – red, fire, and gold all mixed together. She was afraid she might explode. Suddenly there was noise – a large, piercing sound that overwhelmed her. It was alarming and upsetting. Had she unleashed the terrible beast that lay within the frame? Something grasped her from behind. It had come alive. Fear surged through her. Was this the end?
“Lady, what the hell are you doing?” a man’s voice boomed. Jeanne looked around and realized the sound was not the painting screaming, but the security alarm.
“I – I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“You can’t touch the paintings! What were you thinking?” The man was holding her back. Jeanne realized her hand was still outstretched toward Pollock’s masterpiece. She lowered her hand before the security guard shook her loose. It was only then that Jeanne realized everyone in the museum was unmoving and gazing in her general direction.
“I won’t… I won’t do it again,” Jeanne offered with a half smile.
“Damn right you won’t,” the guard retorted. “You’re out of here. Right now.” He spoke into his walkie-talkie for back up.
“No wait, please,” Jeanne begged. She desperately glanced back at Lavender Mist. How could she leave it so soon? They had just met. “I promise I won’t cause anymore trouble. I’ll stand a solid five feet and nine inches away from all the artwork. That’s my height you see. So even if I were to fall forward, I still wouldn’t be near the paintings.”
“Lady, you better shut your mouth before I call the police,” he said, as jutted a finger right in her face. “The museum has pressed charges against folks for less,” he threatened.
Jeanne bit her lip and looked around wildly. Her best friend Cole stood at the other end of the large echo-filled room looking amazed at the scene that was unfolding. He was frozen with his mouth hanging open slightly. Jeanne labored a breath in and out and tried to call to him, but her voice cracked and her throat went dry. Was this a nightmare? Her heart was suddenly aflutter. The world became spotted – a rush of blood to the head. The dizziness was overwhelming. Her feet faltered slightly.
“You don’t understand,” she whispered. “I can’t go. Not without…” Her voice trailed away and she found herself spinning to the floor, like a leaf falling from an autumn tree. The last thing she saw before everything went dark was, of course, her lavender mist.